Information for the public

Tofacitinib (Xeljanz), taken with a drug called methotrexate, is available on the NHS. It is a possible treatment for active psoriatic arthritis in adults:

  • with at least 3 tender and 3 swollen joints who have already tried at least 2 disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs given on their own or together, but they haven’t worked or
  • who have had a tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitor but this hasn’t worked well enough within 12 weeks or after 12 weeks of treatment or
  • when TNF-alpha inhibitors would be used but the person cannot have them.

Only people whose psoriatic arthritis improves enough by 12 weeks may carry on with treatment. 

When assessing how psoriatic arthritis affects your quality of life, healthcare professionals should take into account any disabilities or difficulties in communicating you might have.

If you are not eligible for treatment, but are already taking tofacitinib, you should be able to continue until you and your doctor decide when best to stop.

Is this treatment right for me?

Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Questions to think about

  • How well does it work compared with other treatments?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • What happens if the treatment does not work?
  • What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more.

These organisations can give you advice and support:

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3112-5


This page was last updated: 03 October 2018